Snap-on Tools Claims Bronze Franchisor of the Year Award at Franchising Awards

December 18, 2020

Snap-on Tools, a professional tool brand, has won the Bronze Franchisor of the Year award at the 2020 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, held virtually on 30 November.

They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the automotive, marine, railroad and engineering technician. Franchisees sell the most sought-after tools in the industry and deliver outstanding customer service to technicians from their very own, iconic showroom on wheels.

 
Lisa Law, national franchise manager commented on the win:

“We celebrated our 100th year in business this year, so winning this award is an indication of our standing in the automotive and franchising industries.

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“It’s very humbling to have been chosen as a winner from hundreds of other respected franchise brands across the country. Our success is down to the hard work of our 400 franchisees, so I want to thank them for their continued dedication.”

The awards are the flagship event in the franchising calendar, with nominees and winners, proving the business works ethically and in the best interests of franchisees and staff. This year the awards were postponed and held virtually, as the safety of everyone involved was of very high importance.

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Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, said:

“There are more franchise systems than ever before, showing that businesses are choosing franchising as an ideal model for them. Snap-on Tools has over 160 support staff and focuses on enabling the franchisee network to thrive, with an enviable support programme to ensure that everybody has all the tools for success.”

Andy Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising at HSBC, said:

“It was fantastic to hear from the Franchisor of the Year finalists and learn about their journey into franchising. Snap-on Tools impressed the judges with its passion and initiative offerings. For instance, its ‘Jump-Start Programme’ which pays for half of the start-up costs, has been pivotal in allowing the leaders of tomorrow to get into franchising.”

Related: Snap-on Franchise

“It’s been a difficult year for all businesses, so we are pleased to see members of the franchise community thriving, having adapted to operate successfully despite the difficulties thrown their way.”

Snap-on Tools won the Bronze award, whilst Home Instead Senior Care took Gold and Revive! Auto Innovations took the Silver award.

By Georgie Duffield

Source: BDaily

Costcutter Supermarkets Group celebrates another successful Co-op franchise conversion

November 18, 2020

Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) reports it is celebrating a further successful franchise conversion by transforming its company-owned store in Fremington, North Devon to a Co-op store.

 
CSG’s says that its market-leading business growth transformation programme, Shopper First, proved instrumental in helping the store develop and deliver continuous sales growth by ensuring it had a strong, relevant offer for today’s convenience shopper, which saw the potential of the Fremington outlet to become a Co-op franchise.

The conversion of the 2,600 sq.ft. store to a Co-op, saw a joint £250,000 investment from both CSG and Co-op, and has created six new jobs, said CSG. The store now offers the award-winning, ethically-sourced, Fairtrade Co-op Own Brand range and focuses on fresh healthy produce, wines and ready meals, along with a wide selection of Free-From and vegan products.

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The Co-op franchise opportunity through CSG aims to offer retailers and investors across the UK the opportunity to open a Co-op store, with the combined support of both CSG and the Co-op.

Lucy Frost, director of franchise at CSG, commented: “The Fremington store marks another milestone in our exclusive convenience retail-franchise agreement with Co-op and clearly demonstrates our commitment to widening our reach and building on our joint success in convenience retailing.

“Alongside our work with investors and independent retailers to progress Co-op franchise opportunities, we have continued to explore how we can build on the successes we have seen in the transformation of our other company stores to Co-op franchises and Fremington was the obvious next choice to help us expand our franchise footprint. Previous company-owned stores have increased turnover by a minimum of 50 per cent, and we’re confident that Fremington will follow a similar path.

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“Our experience of operating in the convenience sector for over 30 years, together with the strength of the Co-op offer, which shoppers love, has created a strong franchise model. We continuing to work through an exciting pipeline of investors and retailers keen to realise the success that a Co-op franchise can offer.”

Martin Rogers, head of new channels at Co-op, added: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and our latest franchise store is a great example of how we are growing our brand to generate mutual value with a likeminded partner.

“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and every time our own brand products are purchased with a Co-op Membership card, you know you’re helping communities here and around the world. We have the capability to deliver franchising at scale and we’re confident this will continue to be an attractive proposition for potential investors.”

CSG operates four brands across the UK and the Republic of Ireland consisting of Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh and Supershop.

Source: Franchise World

Co-op opens first franchise store in Scotland

November 3, 2020

Community retailer, Co-op, opened its first franchise store in Scotland at Stirling University on Thursday 22 October, with a Nisa partner.

 
The store, which will be managed and run by the Nisa partner, will deliver Co-op quality products and good prices conveniently to students and the community.

With a successful track record and the proven ability to deliver franchising at scale, Stirling University is the 14th Co-op franchise store. The retailer has demonstrated the flexibility of its model by offering a number of routes to market and through a mix of partners including university unions, independent retailers and its latest partnership with catering provider Gather & Gather.

Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and this a hugely exciting opportunity to grow our brand north of the border. Our franchise stores operate in exactly the same way as a company owned store and all of our partners have access to a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with Co-op.

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“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and we are looking to generate mutual value with likeminded partners and succeed together.”

As part of its strategy to get closer to communities and to what its customers want, need and, care about, franchising extends the reach of the brand and allows Co-op to reach new markets. The model provides a unique proposition for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community.

Located in the Andrew Miller building on the university’s campus, the store will be open to serve customers between 7am and midnight daily and it will also run on 100% renewable electricity. With an ATM and Seattle coffee point, Stirling University Co-op will focus on fresh heathy produce, award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan products, Fairtrade, food-to-go and everyday essentials.

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Students who are Young Scot cardholders can pocket a 10% discount off groceries and contactless card payment limits up to £45 will be accepted, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

With safety of paramount importance Co-op has introduced strict measures since the outbreak of Covid-19 including rigorous cleanliness, social distancing, limiting the number of customers in store, protective screens at check-outs, and the wearing of visors and face-coverings. In addition, contactless card payment limits are increased to £45, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

By Fiona Briggs

Source: Retail Times

Mothercare launches new UK franchise with Boots

September 29, 2020

MOTHERCARE today said it was continuing to cut costs as it launches its new UK and Ireland franchise with Boots.

Over the last financial year, Mothercare said it transitioned the business to refocus on brand management and the design, development and sourcing of product ‎to support its international franchise partners. It is now serving 791 stores across 40 countries.

 
Mothercare has announced its full year results for the 52 week period to March 28 2020. Comparatives are based on the 53 weeks to March 30 2019.

The loss from continuing operations for the full year was £7.2 million, which compared with a £21.1 million loss the year before.

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Total profit for the year was £14.4 million, compared with a £97.0 million loss in the comparative period.

The administration of Mothercare UK has also been completed, including the transfer of brand rights and intellectual property into the group.

Mothercare said it had eliminated around £30 million of operating losses through the closure of the UK retail division.

Clive Whiley,the chairman of Mothercare, commented: “We have diligently managed our way through to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during this period of global crisis, and we emerge in better shape than we went into it.

“We continue to reduce costs and improve our efficiency. We are excited to launch our new UK and Ireland franchise with Boots, restoring the Mothercare brand to its home territory.

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“We have entered into a new 20 year franchise agreement with Alshaya, our largest partner. We have successfully rolled out our innovative, working capital light arrangements with our manufacturing and franchise partners.

“We are now singularly focused upon building Mothercare as a global brand, both in our existing territories and beyond. We are confident with these foundations now in place Mothercare can move forward as a profitable and cash generative international franchise business, generating revenues through an asset-light model in some 40 international territories.”

“This would not have been possible without the support of all of our stakeholders whom, on behalf of the board, I would like to thank for enabling us to get to this point. As a result, from today, Mothercare can look forward to a brighter and stable future once more.”

By Greg Wright

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post

Co-op to create 1,000 jobs and open 50 new stores

September 7, 2020

Grocery chain the Co-op is opening 50 new stores and creating 1,000 new jobs this year.

The new roles come on top of the 1,000 posts it added during lockdown as demand from shoppers increased.

 
The extra jobs announced today will be spread across the new shops and 15 stores that are being enlarged.

The Co-op said its research had found that 70% of adults have relied on their local convenience store for food and other goods in recent months

The retailer also said that it had expanded its online shop.

The Co-op currently employs 55,000 workers across the UK and has 2,600 stores. The new stores will open in areas such as Wrexham, London, Poole, Leeds and Guildford.

Meanwhile up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are also set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University, with more university locations planned for 2021.

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“We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community,” said David Roberts, managing director of Co-op Property.

He said more than 100 of the Co-op’s outlets would receive major makeovers as part of a £130m investment programme.

The chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, James Lowman, said: “This commitment to investing in stores in the coming months is testament to the importance of the convenience sector.”

The grocery sector has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, and the big supermarket chains have also been creating jobs.

Last month, Tesco said it would create 16,000 permanent jobs after the lockdown led to “exceptional growth” in its online business.

‘Financial fallout’

While the grocery sector has done well, other parts of the economy have been hit hard by the pandemic.

It was announced on Friday that 540 workers at Nationwide Accident Repair Services have lost their jobs after the struggling business was sold to RunMyCar in a pre-packaged administration.

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As part of the deal 30 of Nationwide’s sites have been shut.

Founded in 1993 in Witney, Oxfordshire, the business operated 115 garages across the country, as well as a mobile fleet of repair vans, servicing the accident repair market for UK insurers.

But the company suffered a substantial decline in business during lockdown as millions of motorists stayed off the road.

“As with many other businesses, the group had to weather major financial fallout due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which meant that trading volumes were significantly reduced,” said Rob Lewis, joint administrator at PwC.

“Against that backdrop, the sale announced today reflects a significant positive outcome for the business, and we are especially pleased to have safeguarded 2,350 roles including apprentices, mechanics and technicians.

“Sadly we have had to make 540 staff redundant.”

Source: BBC

Mothercare goods to be sold through Irish Boots stores

August 21, 2020

Babycare retailer Mothercare UK has finalised a deal with Boots to sell goods across the chain in time for the autumn season.

Mothercare announced a new business model following talks with its franchisee.

 
Under the terms of the deal with Boots the pharmacy chain will become Mothercare’s Ireland and UK franchise partner.

The agreement, which was first announced in December, allows for Mothercare clothing to be sold in all Boots shops across the two countries, while bigger items such as pushchairs and car seats will be sold in the larger Boots stores. The products will also be available to buy online.

The Boots deal had suffered a series of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mothercare – which last year put its UK stores into administration, closing all 79 of its shops – has also announced a new business model after talks with franchisees.

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It said the new franchise arrangements would ensure a “more sustainable and less capital-intensive business model”.

That model will see the group’s franchise partners pay for products directly to the manufacturers.

Shares in Mothercare jumped in morning trading yesterday, rising as much as 18pc at one stage yesterday before settling around 7pc higher in London.

As well as the 10-year Boots deal, Mothercare said it had also struck a new 20-year franchise arrangement with Alshaya Group, its main franchise partner.

But Mothercare added that it still expects to take a £10m (€11m) hit from the UK stores entering administration last November.

The administration left Mothercare refocused on simply providing branded products to retailers.

In June, the group was also dealt a blow when temporary boss Glyn Hughes said he did not want the job on a permanent basis.

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His departure saw Mothercare led by the chief operating officer and chief financial officer, under the eye of chairman Clive Whiley.

Mothercare Ireland was placed into liquidation in June with the loss of 197 jobs after the directors said they could no longer see a viable future for the business.

Prior to that the company – which is a separate entity to Mothercare UK – had operated 14 stores across Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Sligo and Tralee.

The business had been operating in Ireland since 1992.

In 2018 sales in Ireland were €28.5m, generating a profit of €136,000.

By Ellie Donnelly

Source: Independent

Snap-on Tools nominated for major franchising award

July 21, 2020

Snap-on Tools has been shortlisted for the Franchisor of the Year accolade at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, to be held at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

 
Kettering-based Snap-on Tools is the world’s number one professional tool brand. It is the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for automotive, marine, railroad and engineering technicians. Franchisees sell the most sought-after tools in the industry and deliver outstanding customer service to technicians from their very own, iconic showroom on wheels.

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“As we celebrate our 100th year in business, the recognition we’ve received by being shortlisted for the Franchisor of the Year award is an indication of our standing in the automotive and franchising industries,” said Lisa Law, national franchise manager at Snap-on Tools.

“It’s very humbling to have been chosen as a finalist from hundreds of other respected franchise brands across the country. Our success is down to the hard work of our 400 franchisees, so I want to thank them for their continued dedication.”

The awards evening is the flagship event in the franchising calendar and getting a nomination in itself is an achievement, proving the business works ethically and in the best interests of franchisees and staff, beating many other franchise systems who also entered.

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Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the British Franchising Association, congratulated the franchise:

“With over 160 support staff, Snap-on Tools really focuses on enabling the franchisee network to thrive, with an enviable support programme to ensure that everybody has all the tools for success.”

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Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said:

“Initiatives created to help the entire network stand out at Snap-on Tools. For instance, it’s ‘Jump-Start Programme’, paying for half of the start-up costs for millennials, has been pivotal in allowing the leaders of tomorrow get into franchising.”

Snap-on Tools will go head-to-head against five other franchise brands in November.

By Martin Stone

Source: BDaily

Southern Co-op accredited by ethical franchise regulator

June 12, 2020

A regional co-operative has become one of the first convenience store chains to be accredited as a full member of a British regulatory body. Southern Co-op, which operates the ‘Welcome’ franchise offering across the south, has been awarded the Full Member status by the British Franchise Association.

 
The British Franchise Association (bfa), which is currently the only voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise industry, strives to promote ethical franchising practice across the UK.

It also carries out a robust accreditation process for those applying to become members of the bfa and declines membership for companies that do not adhere to the criteria in place for ethical franchising.

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Mike Fitton​, franchise business manager at Southern Co-op, said: “Our franchise offering has undergone significant development since we first launched in 2007 and we have been going from strength to strength over the last few years since we launched a new operating system.

“We felt the time was right to apply to become a member of the British Franchise Association but it was not easy as there was strict and extensive criteria alongside proof of a sustained business model and the support we provide.

“It is because we have a good track record of success that we were successful in our application as full members. We are delighted with the news and will now continue to strive for further successes within our new and existing partnerships.”

If approved, members of the British Franchise Association can become a provisional listing, an associate member or a full member.

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The bfa code of practice, which is followed by all members, is the only recognised code of practice for ethical franchising in the UK, and is based on the European Code of Ethical Franchising.

Southern Co-op currently partners with 22 franchisees that operate 37 stores from Devon to Kent and into central London.

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said: “Full Membership of the bfa recognises a franchisors commitment to, and value of, ethical franchising practices. Southern Co-op has undergone rigorous checks against an extensive set of criteria to become a member and is testament to their unwavering commitment to best practice and their long-term investment in ethical franchising.”

Southern Co-op’s franchise team offers retailers extensive personalised support with access to specialists in merchandising, artwork, planning, space & sales analysis.

As well as access to major brands and renowned Co-op own-label products, franchisees are also encouraged to expand a unique offering through supporting local producers.

By Fiona Briggs

Source: Retail Times

Cath Kidston closing all UK stores to trade permanently online

April 22, 2020

Vintage-inspired fashion chain Cath Kidston has announced it will close all 60 of its UK stores to trade exclusively online.

Earlier this month the struggling retailer appointed Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) as its administrators but it has now confirmed that its parent company Baring Private Equity Asia, will buy the brand and retain the its e-commerce platform and franchise and wholesale businesses.

 
This means that Cath Kidston will now become a digital-only retailer, with shops including its outlet store at Cheshire Oaks, shutting for good.

Only 32 out of the retailer’s 940 UK employees will retain their jobs to continue running the business online, according to national reports.

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Melinda Paraie, CEO of Cath Kidston, said: “While we are pleased that the future of Cath Kidston has been secured, this is obviously an extremely difficult day as we say goodbye to many colleagues.

“Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of COVID-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form.”

Cath Kidston used to have a branch on Chester’s Eastgate Street but it closed in June 2018, having been a fixture in the city centre for six years.

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Its trade could have been affected when an outlet store opened at Cheshire Oaks in April 2017.

A spokesperson for Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), said: “While we are disappointed that the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the cessation of the retail store network and impacted many employees, we are pleased to have secured a future for a number of Cath Kidston staff and the Cath Kidston brand in the form of a viable digital business.”

The brand was set up by Cath Kidston in 1993 and has more than 200 outlets around the world.

By Carmella de Lucia

Source: Cheshire Live

Marks & Spencer is giving free Easter eggs to NHS staff, carers and emergency workers – here’s how to claim yours

April 10, 2020

Easter weekend is just around the corner, and Marks and Spencer is saying thank you to all NHS staff, carers and emergency workers by giving them a free Percy Pig Easter egg.

 
The offer was highlighted on the Hotukdeals website. They wrote, “NHS, Blue badge holders and Blue Light card holders can get a free Percy Pig Easter egg at M&S instore. The below promo was spotted at Wrexham but been told it’s national (excludes franchise stores and petrol shops), on selected NHS days.”

When is the offer available?

M&S confirmed that the Easter egg freebie will be available this Friday (10 April), which is also Good Friday.

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Which stores will the offer be running in?

It will be available in all M&S shops, excluding franchise stores.

Who is it available for?

The offer will run all day for all NHS staff, carers and emergency workers, in order to say thank you for all of their ongoing hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer said, “Very proud to be doing a little something to say thank you.”

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How do I get one?

In order to get your free Percy Pig Easter egg, all you need to do is show your badge or card in store.

Where can I buy Easter eggs online?

If you’re currently self-isolating, but want to make sure you include an Easter egg in your online shop, then some supermarkets are currently selling these seasonal treats.

Sainsbury’s is currently selling a Thorntons Unicorn Egg, as well as a Thorntons Milk Chocolate Bunny at a discounted price on its online store.

Tesco is also selling a range of classic treats from the popular chocolate-maker’s easter collection, including Thorntons Easter Egg Collection and a speciality Chocolate Dinosaur Egg.

By Helen Johnson

Source: Hartlepool Mail